senior activities

February is National Senior Independence Month

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on February is National Senior Independence Month , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

February is a month that is dedicated to celebrating senior independence, and putting a bit of extra time into promoting and assisting a senior in your life in any way that helps with their independence in staying at home, while receiving the care that they need. As caregivers and Phoenix home health care professionals, we are extra excited about February, and have a variety of suggestions for ways that you can join in and promote senior independence this month as well.

If you have a special senior in your life that you would like to see stay in their home, and out of hospice care, it would be a good idea to take an assessment of their needs. A needs assessment can help you to better understand the daily struggles your loved one faces, and also where they might have needs for greater health and safety in their normal routines. If you’re unsure of how to conduct a thorough needs assessment, contact your local Phoenix home care professionals, and they can send someone to the home of your special senior to conduct a needs assessment and consultation for free.

There are likely to be a variety of medical and non-medical services required in the home of your loved one, and deciding whether to help with some of these tasks, or to hire a caregiver is going to be your next decision. You may even want to split up some of the tasks between yourself and family members, while adding the help of a professional caregiver. Things like grocery shopping, laundry, cooking, cleaning the home, and administering meds may sound like reasonable tasks that you can handle, while the more medical needs will require the help of a medical caregiver. There are also a variety of non-medical needs your loved one may have, such as having someone there to help them dress each day and to bathe, that you may want to hire a caregiver to help with.

Another great way to help promote independence in seniors this month is to help promote a decent amount of exercise into their daily routines. This is something you will want to discuss with your loved one’s doctor first, to ensure they aren’t over exerting themselves, or bringing extra risk to a health condition. Any amount of consistent exercise has been found to be the single most important factor for those over 65 in promoting independence, longevity and reducing the risk of falls. Falling is one of the most prevalent risk factors for seniors, and is the biggest cause of injury death for this age group.

National Senior Independence Month will be more effective the more it is acknowledged and observed, so spreading the word is another great way to help promote awareness. A great way to spread awareness is by asking your municipal government to declare February as Senior Independence Month in your city or town. Here is a great example of a proclamation that you may use to spread the word to your local community.

Every bit of help in spreading awareness about Senior Independence Month is certainly appreciated. And for those of you who do not have a special senior in your life, but would like to help in promoting senior independence in your community, look no further than your local YMCA. They offer a SilverSneakers Fitness Program for those 65 and older, and you can get involved by volunteering, and helping facilitate senior fitness in any way that you can. If you would like more information on National Senior Independence Month, or our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.

 


10 Things that Burn 500+ Calories

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on 10 Things that Burn 500+ Calories , , , , , ,

Summer may be over, and while cooler days allow for big comfy sweaters, we shouldn’t throw away our exercise routines–especially with the holidays around the corner. Since it requires the burning of 3500 calories to lose one pound, a healthy goal is to burn 500 extra calories per day. This may sound like a lot of hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. Not if you choose activities you truly enjoy, and work them into your daily routine. Here’s a list of 10 activities which burn 500 calories, and are easy to fit into anyone’s daily routine.

(Keep in mind that the more a person weights, the more calories these activities will burn. The following are calculated for women weighting 135 lb.)

Shoveling Snow

While this may not sound like a fun past-time, it is certainly a necessity in areas that experience winter snowfall. Shoveling snow is a great way to maintain your home, and burn 500 calories if you do it for 80 minutes.

Surfing

For those of you lucky enough to experience warm weather year-round, or tolerable weather to surf in a wet suit, grab a surf board and catch some waves. One hour of this activity will burn your 500 calories for the day and leave you feeling cleansed and refreshed.

Running

This is one of the fastest ways to burn 500 calories, as it only takes 30 minutes. Running may not be for everyone, so if this isn’t your thing, don’t do it. You may also opt for jogging instead, which takes 60 minutes. The important thing is that you find an activity that you enjoy.

Cycling

Those who don’t like to run may prefer cycling instead. You may decide to take your bike out for a nice ride, or take a high intensity spinning class. Spinning classes can burn you over 700 calories in 45 minutes to an hour, while a bike ride can burn you anywhere from 250 to nearly 800 calories in an hour.

Dancing

If dancing is a passion of yours, it may not even feel like you’re exercising. Depending upon the style of dance you choose, you could burn 200-800 calories per hour. Slow dancing is on the lower end, while intricate, fast-paced dancing is on the higher end. To burn 500 calories, crank up your favorite dance tunes, and cut a rug.

Aerobics

This can be a fun and energizing way to burn calories. The duration of time needed to burn 500 calories depends upon the type of aerobics you choose. Step aerobics only takes approx. 50 minutes, while something less intense like water aerobics takes about two hours.

Horseback Riding

If you love horses, this is another activity that will not feel like working out. Take your horse out for a ride for two hours, and you’ve burned your calories for the day.

Tennis & Volleyball

These sports can be a lot of fun, and take roughly one hour to burn 500 calories. They also require multiple people, so they can be a lot of fun to do with friends, and may not feel like a workout. It also helps motivation to have friends to make plans with.

Hiking or Rock Climbing

Outdoor enthusiasts will love these. Hiking can take about 2 hours to burn 500 calories, while rock climbing takes about an hour.

If any of these activities sound exhausting to do for an hour or longer at a time, try breaking them up into 20-30 segments throughout the day. Also, before beginning any new exercise, be sure to consult your doctor, or a Phoenix home health care provider. If you’d like some extra motivation or assistance, our non-medical service caregivers in Phoenix can provide home care. Give us a call today, or fill out our contact form.


8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Active this Summer

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Articles, Healthy Eating Comments Off on 8 Ways to Beat the Heat and Stay Active this Summer , , , , , , , , ,

People young and senior in water gymnastics physiotherapy with dumbbells

All adults and children should be as active as their level of fitness permits, because physical activities impart health benefits and help to stave off the negative effects of inactivity. Whether you happen to be the beneficiary of Phoenix home health care, or you are a professional who provides that care, you will benefit by being active and enjoying the companionship of others while doing so.

In the summertime however, the heat and humidity are sometimes enough to bother anyone, so that outdoor activities are less appealing than they might normally be. This doesn’t mean you should sacrifice activity altogether, it just means you need to be a little more creative about choosing Phoenix home health care activities to get involved with. Here are some ways you can beat the heat in summer and still stay active.

Go Swimming

Swimming is still the best way to cool off, and almost every neighborhood has a public pool or at least a private center where free swim time is regularly scheduled. Even if you can’t swim, just walking around in the water or splashing your feet over the side can be extremely refreshing – and it gets you moving.

Indoor Aerobics

If you have air-conditioning on the premises, or at least a good fan, aerobics are a great way to get in some good exercise even during summer. You can even avoid the real heat of the day by planning workouts in the morning, or later in the evening.

Have an Indoor Picnic

You can stay inside with the air conditioning for this one, but it will get you involved with meal planning and preparation while enjoying your Phoenix home health care.

Make Yourself a Cool Drink

Making smoothies can be fun for everyone, because you have to pick out the fruits and flavors to be used, and mix them altogether, before enjoying that sweet, cool, nutritious treat. If smoothies aren’t your thing, go out into your garden and pick some fresh mint leaves, then add a twist of lemon, some ice, and cold water – instant refreshment!

Take a Walk in the Mall

All malls are air-conditioned these days, and many have walk paths around the premises. This can be a great way to stay cool while checking out the summer sales, and when you get tired, there are always rest benches so you can catch your breath.

Enjoy some Ice Cream

If there’s a nearby store, walk to it and enjoy the exercise. If no stores are nearby, why not make your own, and cool off with your favorite flavor?

Visit the Pet Shop

Make sure it’s a store with air conditioning, so you can walk about and check out all the cute little pets with fur and wings, just waiting to entertain you.

Low-Impact Exercising

Without working up a big sweat, you can still get in some valuable exercise by practicing some simple yoga techniques or spending time stretching. Both will provide physical benefits as well as contribute to your emotional state of well-being.

Even when the sun beats down on the Southwest unmercifully in the summer time, there are still Phoenix home health care activities which can keep you moving, while also minimizing the powerful effects of the summer heat. MD Home Health, your Phoenix home health care experts, recommend that you stay active by putting some of these heat-busting ideas into practice.

For more information on our services, experience, or rates, call (602) 396-5742, or fill out our contact form. We look forward to serving you.

 


Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover

mdhomehealthadmin Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized Comments Off on Life After Surgery: Helping a Loved One Recover , , , , , , , , ,

Post Surgical Care

Having to undergo a major surgical procedure is one of the most stressful and frightening experiences in a person’s life, but helping a loved one recover from surgery can be equally taxing. The hard work may be technically over once the surgery is deemed a success, but it can take a long time for one’s body to heal even after the most routine surgeries. This can be especially troublesome when helping senior citizens recover from a procedure; even the highest quality Phoenix home health care doesn’t eliminate the risk of serious complications in an elderly family member.

Helping someone you love recover from a major surgery can indeed be difficult, but with the proper education and a lot of patience, you can still help administer home care during a loved one’s recovery period. Here are a few tips that will help you with that.

Educate Yourself

The most important thing you can do to help a loved one recover from a surgery or illness is to educate yourself. Learn as much as you can about what they have gone through and what they can expect as they heal. It’s entirely possible that they will recover on their own after a few days or weeks of rest, but major procedures may require you or a caregiver to change wound dressing, administer medications or assist the patient in their daily routine. A good Phoenix home health care service will be able to give you the advice you need, but the best source of information is always the patient’s doctor. Ask about anything you think you might need to know; there is no such thing as being too informed.

Have a Caregiver Present at All Times

This piece of advice mostly applies to those recovering from a serious medical procedure, but it’s always a good idea to have a caregiver on hand as often as possible. This caregiver could be you, but it could also be a home health aide or nurse hired for the patient. This is particularly important for elderly patients since they will require a higher level of care than a younger patient.

Encourage Independence

Even though it is important to have a caregiver present at all times, you should still encourage your loved one to regain their independence as much as possible. This may not be possible during the first few days after the surgery, but over time they should be able to do most or all of the things that they used to do before undergoing surgery. 

Caring for a loved one as they recover from surgery is emotionally taxing for many people, but there are always resources available to you. If you would like to learn more about home health care in Phoenix and gain and extra hand so you can best serve your loved ones, feel free to give us a call.


When Should I Retire from Driving?

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle Comments Off on When Should I Retire from Driving? , , , , , , , , , , ,

Driving is considered a sign of independence and freedom in our society. Getting a driver’s license is seen as a rite of passage, and a person’s schedule is often dictated on whether or not they can drive. Most people want to be able to drive for as long as they live, but this may not always be an option as we age.

Elderly drivers don’t always have the greatest reputations on the road, even though they may not technically be as dangerous as teenage drivers or drunk drivers. Nevertheless, approximately 14 million people report being involved in auto accidents caused by elderly drivers in the past year. These accidents can be attributed to vision and hearing impairments, physical disabilities, dementia and other health conditions commonly associated with aging. Clearly not all senior drivers will experience these conditions; many people age gracefully and do not lose any of their driving abilities, yet it’s still important to look for these signs that it’s time to retire a driver’s license.

Frequent Close Calls

If you’ve noticed an increase in near crashes recently, it may be time for you or your loved one to give up driving. This is especially true if these close calls are due to an inattentive driver. It’s best to quit before a near miss becomes a potentially deadly crash.

Dings or Dents on a Car

Small dents or scratches in a car could be the result of a rude drivers in a parking lot, but they can also be caused by minor accidents. If you have an elderly driver in your family, check to see if their vehicle has any new scratches or dents.

Getting Lost

Everyone gets lost while they’re driving once in a while, but a senior driver who doesn’t know where they are frequently may be showing early signs of dementia, and should not be behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Limited Mobility

People lose mobility as they age, and that can affect their ability to drive. An senior who has trouble turning their head or moving from the gas pedal to the brake is definitely a liability on the road.

Limited Visibility

Being able to see is essential when it comes to driving. Drivers must be able to read road signs, judge distances between vehicles and stop quickly if they notice something on the road in front of them. Aging can affect a person’s vision, so all elderly drivers should have their eyes checked every year if they want to keep driving safely.

Care for the Elderly who Cannot Drive

Losing the ability to drive can come as a devastating blow, but a senior can still live a full life, even if they need to retire from the road. Many home health care services provide transportation for their clients so they can make it to their appointments and meet their other obligations. Companies providing home care may also provide counseling services for those who feel like they’re losing their independence by not driving.

As our population ages, we will have more senior drivers on the road, and more people finding that their age prevents them from driving. For more information on this and other aspects of home care in Phoenix, visit the MD Home Health/Home Assist website.


Curb Caregiver Burnout by Hiring Non-Medical Home Care

mdhomehealthadmin Active Living, Articles, Caregiver Information, Hiring a Caregiver, Senior Lifestyle, Uncategorized Comments Off on Curb Caregiver Burnout by Hiring Non-Medical Home Care , , , , , , , , , , ,

Girl Assisting Disabled Woman Getting Into A CarAccording to the Family Caregiver Alliance, approximately 29% of the U.S. adult population is providing care to someone who is ill, disabled, or in their latter stages of life. This could be a spouse, parent, in-law, a child with special needs, or just a really great friend. Coupled with caring for one’s own household, managing caregiver requirements may become a strain on the caregiver, and may eventually cause strain on relationships as well.

One way to alleviate caregiver burnout is to enlist outside help either through family and friends, or enlisting a home health care agency to provide the services you’re unable to do, thus freeing up time and energy.

 

What to Outsource?


Whether it’s bringing someone into the home each day or just once or twice a week, one of the most helpful tasks to outsource is transportation. If you’re employed and/or caring for a family, driving your loved one to medical appointments may become burdensome, and difficult to juggle. Enlisting a transportation service will help remedy this.

Finding the right transportation isn’t only important for getting loved ones to medical appointments, it’s also effective as a preventative measure against depression. According to the National Caregiver’s Library, one of the biggest needs within the senior population is transportation. It’s critical to the well-being of each person to have mobility to engage in social interactions and activities that will not only get them out of the house, but allow them to connect with others and become more active. Utilizing a home health care agency will allow you to secure not only transportation, but companionship as well for your loved one.

While securing a transportation service is important, it’s even more important to secure a reputable service. Drivers should always complete a background check and have a clean driving record. They should also carry the proper insurance and be well-versed on driving passengers who need more assistance, as opposed to a standard car service.

There are a number of non-medical services that may be outsourced to avoid caregiver burnout. Perhaps housework has become too difficult, or a loved one would prefer having a professional caretaker over a family member as means of maintaining some independence from family and/or dignity. Maybe there are dietary requirements or restrictions that vary drastically from what the rest of the family eats. Finding a service to assist with these basic needs may allow for more opportunities to enjoy time with loved ones, rather than functioning strictly as caregiver.

Are you looking for a caregiver solution to fit your family’s needs? We’d love to sit down with you for a free consultation to discuss how we can help ease your caregiver duties. We have caregivers on-call 24/7, so you never have to worry about not having someone around when you really need them the most. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re interested in hiring in-home care in the Phoenix, Arizona area.


Keep Your Brain Healthy By Feeding It With Words

mdhomehealthadmin Uncategorized Comments Off on Keep Your Brain Healthy By Feeding It With Words , , , , , , , ,

A good book is good for your health

In this digitally age, the Internet offers fast connections, videos at an accelerated speed and instant access to information  – all at a much faster rate than reading a traditional book. After all, why spend time flipping through 476 pages of Harry Potter when we can watch it in 3 hours on TV with sound effects and captivating graphics? Why waste time skimming the newspaper when we can access YouTube or even turn on NBC to the charming Brian Williams for updates instead? Even though we know that 99.9% of the time books offer a better experience, we still opt in for convenience and snuggle up to Netflix blockbusters instead of perusing through great novels.

However, recent studies suggest that reading information rather than streaming it online has better long-term benefits for the brain. Swapping the remote for a book can help fight against diseases while increasing memory and improving your social cognitive skills. Below are three benefits to how being a bookworm can boost your mental state and keep your brain healthy.

Reading may prevent Alzheimer’s disease

Just like exercising to keep the heart healthy, we need to stimulate the mind for a good workout to enhance our brain horsepower. According the study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, adults who regularly challenge their intellectual curiosity with hobbies like reading, playing chess, or solving a Sudoku puzzle are 2.5 times less likely to be develop Alzheimer, a fatal brain condition that typically occurs after the age of 60.

The research conducted by Dr. Robert Friedland surveys people in their 70s and collected data on how participants enjoy their pastimes during early adulthood from age 20 to 39 through midlife from 40 to 60 years old. The study finds that subjects engaging in regular stimulating hobbies like reading a novel or knitting a sweater reduce the risk of Alzheimer from early on because they produce healthier brain cells to fight off destructive Alzheimer cells that kills off our brain neurons. The research emphasizes that though intellectual stimulation from early childhood does not completely immune individuals from the disease but trading in TVs for books will help delay the process.

 “Brain power unused is brain power lost”

Additionally, reading in the long run keeps your mind sharp when as you age. A study published in Neurology journal assesses that subjects participating in stimulating activities like reading throughout their life develop 32 percent slower cognitive decline compared to those who suffer 48 percent faster memory loss due to passive activity like watching TV or talking on the phone. Since the task of reading requires more processing than digesting a speech, sound, or image, your brain requires more function to infer information from sentences. It involves greater concentration skill to formulate and create a visual from just words alone. Therefore, invest in your memory by exercising it with books and physical activities. Instead of a movie night, have a slumber party with your family and friends for some intellectual fun, food and fiction!

image005

Reading enhances your social awareness

According to NPR, losing yourself in a literary fiction can expose you to a greater understanding of how “other people are thinking and feeling” (http://n.pr/1nqSAQz). In contrast to the clear-cut, drawn out protagonists and antagonists from popular movies, characters from literary writing require more complex analysis since they are usually not fully developed. They rely on readers to interpret their actions and push the audience to extrapolate their thoughts and emotions in order to create a complete narrative. “This is really the very same processes that we engage in when we try to guess other people’s thoughts and feelings and emotions, and to read their mind in everyday life,” Emanuele Castrano, Psychology professor of The New School for Social Research, further explains.

Whether you’re indulging yourself with the latest celebrity gossips, restaurant reviews, or political opinions, save at least an hour out of the day to immerse yourself in some compelling paperbacks and plot twists. Processing words not only improves your intellect and critical thinking skills but it also gives you the unique power to pause, think, and reflect—habits that will keep your brain healthy over time!

For more tips on how to maintain a healthy mind, visit us at MD Home Health, until then read a book.  

 

 


The Power of Therapeutic Writing

mdhomehealthadmin Uncategorized Comments Off on The Power of Therapeutic Writing , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The therapeutic power of art has been known about and explored for centuries. Whether through painting, music, or writing, both artists and non-artists alike have used these mediums of expression as effective ways to heal the soul. It may not seem like it at first, but an easy way to start healing your soul and improving your psychological well-being is to simply keep a diary or daily journal. Releasing pent-up stress and anxiety onto the page can do wonders for your emotional health and general happiness.

Writing Therapy

Believe it or not, diaries aren’t just for teenagers and they’re not just full of adolescent ramblings. In fact, there is a very important reason why teenagers keep diaries and why we could stand to learn a thing or two from this very common high school practice. The teenage years are an especially difficult time because of constant hormone shifts, awkward maturation processes, and crucial life transitions that can affect mood and mental health significantly. Keeping a private journal is an instinctual way that adolescents learn to grapple with these changes in order to help stabilize their emotions. As we get older, we tend to lose or “outgrow” this instinct, but it can be helpful to relearn it with age, because the power of therapeutic writing doesn’t diminish even if we have survived adolescence.

Writing Therapy

Mental health professionals have also picked up on the importance of therapeutic writing. Many psychologists and counselors use art therapy during sessions and psychological interventions as part of a concerted regimen aimed at expressing, understanding, and coming to terms with problematic thoughts, behaviors, and feelings. Because of the uninhibited nature of many expressive art forms, journal writing can help us identify how we are really feeling and how we can improve upon that. It also helps that it’s cheap, essentially risk-free, and nearly anybody can do it. All you need is some paper, a pen, and anywhere from ten to sixty minutes a day. 

It’s important to remember, however, that persistent situations involving serious emotional and mental health problems should always be dealt with by a mental health professional. While therapeutic writing can help alleviate everyday stresses, it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for professional therapy. For more information on the importance of mental health and when professional assistance is required, visit us at MD Home Health. Otherwise, get writing and start healing!


Art Is Beauty, Art is Therapeutic

mdhomehealthadmin Uncategorized Comments Off on Art Is Beauty, Art is Therapeutic , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Woman Painting

For hundreds of years, art has been both beautiful and therapeutic and will only continue to provide benefits as time goes on. Art can literally freeze a moment in time and even freeze the viewer as they ponder the meaning or theme of the artwork. Emotions can be demonstrated brilliantly with art and can help the viewer release or better understand their own emotions. There are numerous philosophical and psychological benefits that come with the beauty of art.

Art therapy has become much more accepted over the years and is becoming a serious therapeutic contender in the world of therapy. These days art is not only being used for appeal in the home or office, but used to improve physical or mental healing. This intriguing form of therapy revolves around the creative process of art, allowing those who do not feel comfortable expressing themselves with words to use creative art instead. This can even be done without creating the art yourself but rather using art that has already been made.

Even the average person who does not necessarily require therapy can greatly benefit from either creating art or viewing it. Expressing yourself through art can often show you things that otherwise might not have comprehended, especially if discussed with an art therapist. Art therapists are trained to help their patients through creative expression. Self-exploration is a major part of art and can also lead to new conclusions. A convenient benefit of art therapy is the fact that you don’t actually need a therapist, but rather a willingness to open up and express yourself through art.

The many benefits of art therapy:

  • Improve Mental and Physical Health
  • Help with Emotional Abuse
  • Help Those who are Bipolar
  • Helps to Better Understand Yourself
  • Improve Cancer
  • Improve Social Skills
  • Reduce Post Traumatic Stress
  • Reduce Pain
  • Reduce Anxiety
  • Reduce Tension

For more information regarding art therapy, contact our experts at MD Home Health today and begin to live healthier tomorrow.


Great Activities For Seniors To Stay Active

mdhomehealthadmin Uncategorized Comments Off on Great Activities For Seniors To Stay Active , , , , , , , ,

Senior Activities

As you age, it gets harder and harder to do the activities you used to do to stay healthy and active. Even if you can’t run five miles or go rock climbing anymore, that doesn’t mean the rest of your days are relegated to your couch. The more you stay active as you get older, the younger you will feel, and there are a number of great activities for seniors to stay active.

For some general guidelines, healthcare professionals recommend that seniors get at least two hours and thirty minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or an hour and fifteen minutes of high-intensity aerobic activity a week. This amount of activity will help ward off heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, depression, and dementia. Aerobic activities can include walking at a brisk pace, jogging with some friends, taking a water aerobics class, or even pushing a lawn mower. Basically, anything that gets your heart rate going faster than usual and reduces the amount of time you spend watching television or doing other sedentary activities.

Unfortunately, daily activities like shopping, cooking, and housework don’t count as aerobic activities, but there are ways that you can turn these into strength-building exercises through functional fitness. Functional fitness is an exercise regimen that involves doing exercises that mimic daily activities like lifting a heavy bag of groceries or getting in and out of a low chair. By strengthening the muscles you use for these activities, you can minimize your chance of injuring yourself while making it easier to do these sorts of activities on a regular basis by yourself. You’ll be better able to go grocery or clothes shopping, go out to eat, or any number of other things that can increase your feeling of independence.

If you’re feeling especially spry, you can even try yoga to stay social, strengthen muscle, and keep your joints flexible.

While getting older isn’t always easy, it doesn’t have to be debilitating. At MD Home Health and MD Home Assist, we recommend incorporating these great activities into a weekly routine to help you feel young, healthy, and independent.